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Venous lake
See also in: Oral Mucosal Lesion
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Venous lake

See also in: Oral Mucosal Lesion
Contributors: Jeffrey M. Cohen MD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


A venous lake is a dilation of venules. It is common and benign. It is most often seen on the lips (especially the lower lip), ears, and face of older adults. Chronic sun exposure, which weakens the vascular adventitia and permits dilation of superficial venous structures, is thought to play a role in the formation of venous lakes. Venous lakes may also be seen on mucosal surfaces. Ninety-five percent of venous lakes occur in men.

Once a lesion has been traumatized, there may be bleeding or tenderness, but these lesions are most often asymptomatic. Venous lakes may be aesthetically displeasing, but they are benign.


D18.00 – Hemangioma unspecified site

402843003 – Venous lake

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Last Reviewed:01/17/2021
Last Updated:02/07/2021
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Patient Information for Venous lake
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Contributors: Medical staff writer


A venous lake is a small blue or purple raised bump caused by dilated capillaries. It is usually found on the lips, face, or ears of older adults. It is harmless, except that it can easily bleed if irritated.

A venous lake may look similar to a skin malignancy, but it is not malignant.

Who’s At Risk

Venous lakes are more common in older adults. More men than women are found to have venous lakes.

Signs & Symptoms

Look for a soft, raised, dark blue or violet blood-filled bump on the face, ears, or nose. The venous lake may seem to disappear when you push down on it.

Self-Care Guidelines

Venous lake is harmless, but will not go away on its own.

Irritating or injuring the venous lake may cause bleeding.

When to Seek Medical Care

It is important to see your health care provider to rule out malignancy. You may also want to discuss removing the venous lake if its appearance or bleeding bothers you.


No treatment is necessary. If you wish to have the venous lake removed, ask your health care provider about your options.

Venous lakes may be removed by freezing, laser therapy, cauterization, or excision.
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Venous lake
See also in: Oral Mucosal Lesion
A medical illustration showing key findings of Venous lake : Ear, Face, Lips
Clinical image of Venous lake - imageId=916544. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'A deep bluish-purple papule on the lower lip.'
A deep bluish-purple papule on the lower lip.
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